Judicial Branch - Structure & Powers: PowerPoint, Lesson Plan, Worksheet, Smart Board Activity, Multiple Choice Test, Flipped Class Video & Various Activities
This lesson teaches students the basics of the Judicial Branch of the Federal Government. Students will learn about how the judicial branch is set up, basic vocabulary, as well as its main functions and powers. This lesson reviews the purpose of the nation’s court system to interpret the law and to settle disputes. This lesson includes:
• Completed lesson plan with step-by-step instructions
• PowerPoint presentation
• Smartboard activity
• State Exam Practice Test
• Video Clip Links
• Bell ringers
Students will also learn the difference between criminal and civil trials with examples for both. The role that judges and juries play in the court system is also covered. Students are introduced to the history of the judicial branch with early colonial courts, the lack of a national judicial branch under the Articles of Confederation, and its establishment by the US Constitution. The exact text of Article III of the US Constitution as it established only the US Supreme Court and Congressional Power to create “inferior courts” is covered. Next is a thorough review of the three levels of the Federal Court System: district courts, circuit court of appeals and the US Supreme Court. Students will learn about the path of cases through the three levels and their jurisdiction with a definition of “original jurisdiction.” Students will learn about the “dual court system” in America and examples of the path through the various courts.
Students will learn about the make-up of the courts, and the purpose of lifetime tenure for federal judges and Supreme Court justices. Students will also be introduced to the types of cases that federal courts hear, as clarified by the Constitution. Finally students will learn about the significance of the Marbury v. Madison case with Chief Justice John Marshall’s declaration that the Constitution is the “supreme law of the land,” the job of the judicial branch to interpret the law, and most significantly the establishment of “judicial review.” Students will learn about judicial review or the power to declare laws unconstitutional and its effect on the three branches of government and our system of “checks and balances.”
Check out the YouTube clip that goes with this lesson @ Mr. Raymond’s Civics EOC Academy YouTube channel:
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Mr. Raymond’s Civics E.O.C. Academy was designed for students taking the Florida Civics End-of-Course (EOC) Exam. However, as many states are implementing Civics Exams, these videos will work for all students of Civics, US Government, and US History. Currently students have to pass a civics state exam in order to graduate in Idaho, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Arizona, North Dakota, Louisiana, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Utah – as well as state social studies tests such as Texas’ STAAR exam, as well as Virginia’s Civics SOL exam. These videos look at all of the civics benchmarks that will be tested on most state civics exams.